My first live-and-in-person art show/sale was a great success. A few of my magnets and prints and one of my very favorite paintings are on their way to new homes, and I wish them well in their journey (and I hope I get used to this sweet sadness when I say goodbye to an original, because it is such an incredible feeling to think of other people gracing their walls with my paintings).
Equally as important, this was a fantastic opportunity to explore the public side of being an artist. The event was not huge, which was a great thing for me, because I never felt overwhelmed, and I also had a chance to practice reaching out to passersby and talking to people without worrying too much about interrupting one person to talk to someone else.
Of course, it always helps to offer chocolate. Sometimes, I practically shouted, "Hey! Come get some treasure!" And people would give me a funny look, which in itself is not necessarily uncommon at an event like this one, and then edge closer, and look at me questioningly, and I'd add more quietly, "It's chocolate." I think it is a worthy goal to make the world a better place by handing out free chocolate.
But I was both surprised and delighted by how many people stopped by my table even before the offer of chocolate. So many compliments and questions and conversations about maps and cartography. Many people signed up for my mailing list, took brochures and took MOO cards. (If you're one of them, hello and welcome and thank you for stopping by! Please let me know you're here!).
I was very proud of the way I set up my table - after hours of tormented thought about where I could find a tablecloth big enough for a ten-foot table, it occurred to me that a canvas dropcloth, the house-painting kind - would be a bit like a ship's sail. Perhaps too big for me to iron, but attractive nonetheless. Al suggested the fishing net and the shells, and he built the display board for the little paintings.
The treasure chests were a natural display option; and I am very, very pleased by the "brass" sign for the Interimaginational Institute (this photo from the practice table I set up in our living room the night before).
I wanted it to look like the brass plaque one might find outside some kind of Victorian academic society housed in a pompous stone building in an old city, and in the right light, I think it does.
Next time, I'd like to add some more props to the fantasy/make-believe side of things... I love the way the net and treasure accented the treasure maps, but the realms and lands were slightly underflaunted, even if they didn't complain, not once. The purple velvet scarf - a hand-me-down I've had tucked away for years - was a good royal touch, though.
All in all, a great first outing. AND, as you see, I got to dress up, which is always a good reason to get up in the morning.
The larger paintings, I hope, pending my acceptance to the show, will be going with me to the Handmade Parade in Norfolk on November 10; until it is time to prepare for that show, I will make some of the smaller framed mini-paintings available on my Etsy shop, starting tomorrow afternoon. The magnets (which I don't make by hand) are available on my Cafe Press site. I will be experimenting with my own handmade magnet recipe soon, so keep an eye out for those!
Happy travels, my friends.
Happy travels, my friends.